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[The List]: Volunteering in Shanghai

Feed the babies who don't have enough to eat. Shoe the children with no shoes on their feet. House the people livin' in the street.
Last updated: 2015-11-09

We've got news for you. You're probably spending a little bit too much time on you. You've got a nice life here. You get foot massages. You gorge yourself on Sunday brunch buffets. You get bottle service at nightclubs. It's time to give back and remind yourself that there are those out there who need some help. Fortunately, Shanghai is flush with opportunities to do so. Here is a list of places to start.


Stepping Stones China This not-for-profit charity based in Shanghai and Hong Kong aims to improve the quality of education currently provided for disadvantaged children through free English classes. They offer volunteer positions in teaching, tutoring, and office work. Click here for more info.

Shanghai Sunrise Shanghai Sunrise raises scholarship money for promising Shanghai-area students who would otherwise not have access to a quality education. Volunteer roles include in work in fundraising, event planning, English tutoring, and professional skills. Here's more info.


BEAN This popular organization aims to help a wide variety of charitable groups in the city. They organize regular outreach events around including volunteer work at orphanages and helping children with cleft palates. They usually have a couple of events per month that you can get involved it. Find upcoming ones here

Charity Dream Shanghai Charity Dream Shanghai was founded by a husband and wife time in 2008. It organizes a wide range of projects open to volunteers. There are creative arts programs, higher learning and English academies, and also a healing home. All are designed to help the local community, with a particular focus on children. Click here.

Heart to Heart Shanghai Founded by expats in 2003, Heart to Heart offer financial assistance and support for children needing heart surgery. Volunteers can help fundraise, donate goods or take part in hospital play sessions. Get involved here.

Morning Tears Alliance Founded in China in the 80's, this organization consists of 100% volunteers. It offers unique programs that aim to rebuild the lives of children with incarcerated parents. Get involved here.

Shanghai Young Bakers Shanghai Young Bakers provides bakery training for disadvantaged youths in order to provide them sustainable employment skills. Volunteers can help with translating, IT, article writing, fundraising, events, and design. Learn more here.


Baobei Baobei provides surgery and rehabilitation for Chinese orphans with birth defects. They offer volunteer opportunities like fundraising, childcare, medical work, or office administration. They're also always looking for people who can donate supplies. Click here for more info.

Rotary Club Shanghai Shanghai's division of this international organization overseas a heart surgery program called Gift of Life. It's aim is to help underprivileged children with congenital heart diseases. They are always looking for volunteers to help promote the program, visit hospitals and fundraise. Click here to learn more.

The Elderly

Hands On Shanghai Lately, Hands On has been engaged in programs that serve the elderly, people with special needs, children, migrants and other disadvantaged people. They offer several volunteer programs suitable for busy professional types. They offer volunteer opportunities for individual, students, or even corporate groups. Here's more info.


Second Chance Animal Aid Because of its regular gatherings, SCAA is basically synonymous with animal adoption in Shanghai. There is a glut of abandoned animals in this city, and these guys always need help finding homes either temporary or permanent for them. Click here to learn more.

Shanghai Riding for the Disabled Therapeutic horse riding. Yes, apparently it is thing. Supposedly, the disabled respond well to it because of the "repetitive, rhythmic movement of the horse's stride" because it "simulates...a human's walk." These guys are in constant need of volunteers who can help manage their stables, or to help out with riding lessons. More info here.

The Homeless

Home Sweet Home Every Saturday this group hits the streets to help out the homeless in Shanghai. Volunteers can lend a hand with this or get involved in their other projects in English teaching, design, or raising awareness at coffee mornings and other events. Click here.

The Environment

Green Initiatives Aiming to raise awareness and curb environmental damage in China, Green Initiatives run a variety of events, projects and fundraisers in the city. They also organize some interesting film screenings at Greenmix. Click here for upcoming events.

Shanghai Roots and Shoots Founded by famous primatologist Jane Goodall, Roots and Shoots currently works in over 100 countries, with bases in Beijing, Chengdu and Shanghai. The Shanghai branch focuses on promoting environmental awareness within schools. To see opportunities click here.


Community Center Shanghai In addition to providing classes, tours and socials for expats, The Community Center also helps to run a few volunteer programs. Their Charity Link aims to pair potential volunteers with organizations in the city. Click here for link.

Lifeline Lifeline provides free emotional support to the expat community in Shanghai via telephone services. They need volunteers to help provide this support, help raise funds, attend outreach events or give a hand with administrative duties. Learn more here.